Local

September 3, 2013

Meet D-M Staff Sergeant’s roller derby alter-ego: Judo Gnomi

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Hilary Middleton, 355th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician (center), prepares to start a bout with the Tucson Roller Derby in Tucson, August 10. During a bout, players try to keep members of the opposing team from getting past them and scoring.

The Air Force requires all members to be ‘fit to fight’, but not everyone lifts weights, hits a punching bag or runs on a treadmill. One Airman gives the phrase a different meaning.

Staff Sgt. Hilary Middleton, 355th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, skates with the local Tucson Roller Derby league.

Middleton, also known as Judo Gnomi, pronounced “you don’t know me”, on the track, has been skating since she was two years old and jumped at this opportunity when she learned about the league from a former first sergeant.

“I went to a couple bouts, and I was like ‘I can do that!’” Middleton said. “So, I called up the recruiting people and was on skates the next Tuesday.”

To earn a place on the team, you have to show what you can do in skates, Middleton said. Applicants have to display their ability to stop, turn and compete.

Middleton plays on two teams, the Saddletramps and the Copper Queens. The Copper Queens is one of three home teams, and the Saddletramps is an all-star travel team. Both teams are part of the TRD.

Middleton explained that she easily made it onto the Copper Queens team and it was only about three months until she joined the Saddletramps.

Not only is roller derby a hobby for Middleton, it also plays a key part in her Air Force career. Being in the league and on two different teams, Middleton has to skate several hours a week to maintain her team’s and league’s standards.

“I have two different requirements for each team, and also our league has different requirements,” Middleton said. “I always exceed those requirements. I usually skate at least 12 hours a week; sometimes, it can go up to 16 if there is a bout.”

Not only does roller derby challenge her physically but it also helps with her mental fitness and resiliency.

“I love to hit people and not get in trouble for it,” Middleton said. “It is a huge stress relief.”

During a bout, Middleton has to make quick decisions about her opponent’s next move at the same time keeping up, blocking, and helping her team members get around their opponent’s. To accomplish this goal, she is allowed to legally hit opposing players in order to keep them from scoring.

Due to the nature of the game, Middleton had to get permission from her commander and go through a mandatory risk assessment. When she told her commander she gets to hits people, her commander requested a demonstration.

“My commander said, ‘Show me.’” Middleton said. “I had to actually show my commander how we hit each other. She wanted me to actually hit her and I got to hit her. It was awesome.”

Even with being part of the TRD, Middleton acknowledges that the Air Force mission has to come first.
During the derby season she has had to deploy, but she says being part of the team while in the Air Force has made her a better Airman by empowering her to do more, both at work and at the roller derby.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Guard Muster brings Arizona together

(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brian A. Barbour) Arizona National Guard Soldiers from the 158th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade stand in formation on the field at Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium, Dec. 7 in Tempe. The formation, which was part of the Arizona National Guard Muster and Community Expo, was the first...
 
 
NORAD_pict

NORAD prepares to track Santa’s flight

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) — The North American Aerospace Defense Command’s NORAD Tracks Santa website, http://www.noradsanta.org, launched Dec. 1, featuring a mobile version, a holiday countdown, new games a...
 
 

Air Force not planning Involuntary Force Reductions in 2015

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – The modern Air Force is “feeling some strain” recently, due to its shrinking size and high operations tempo, but there won’t be any more involuntary force-shaping in 2015, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said today. James said she and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark...
 

 

Local Briefs December 19, 2014

NARFE chapter 55 to meet January 12, 11 a.m. – Golden Corral The National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) Association, Chapter 55, will hold their next monthly luncheon meeting on Monday January 12, 2015 at the Golden Corral, 4380 East 22nd Street, Tucson, AZ 85711.  The luncheon starts at 11 a.m. and ends about...
 
 

New Commander addresses Airmen of 12th Air Force

To all of the 12th Air Force Community, Happy Holidays! My wife Kristan, my three children, and I are excited to join this outstanding 12th AF community.  I cannot adequately express how honored and humbled I feel to join this community as the Commander.   I certainly appreciate the exceptional efforts of General and Mrs....
 
 
(AFSOUTH)

New commander to take reins of 12th AF, AFSOUTH

Twelfth Air Force and Air Forces Southern will welcome a new commander during a change of command ceremony Dec. 19 at 10 a.m. at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Major Gen. Chris Nowland will be promoted to the rank of lieutenant ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin